Dossier on Sustainable Finance

Sustainability is a significant challenge for the financial markets, which is why FINMA, as the supervisory authority, is also actively addressing this issue. In its strategic goals for 2021–2024, FINMA committed to contributing to the sustainable development of the Swiss financial centre. In line with its mandate, FINMA’s focus is on the associated potential financial risks and client protection issues. This web dossier contains FINMA’s key information about this topic.

Preventing and combating greenwashing

FINMA’s mandate includes protecting financial market clients and investors from improper business conduct, in particular from deception. FINMA’s primary objective in relation to greenwashing is to ensure that clients and investors are not misled.

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Climate change risks

The impact of climate change can entail significant financial risks for financial institutions. The main focus is on the sort of physical risks that arise from climate change itself, as well as transition risks related to the decarbonisation process of the economy. Financial institutions have to identify their significant climate-related financial risks and manage them appropriately.

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Integrating climate-related risks into supervisory practice

FINMA oversees the adequate capture and management of material climate-related financial risks by financial institutions. It maintains a dialogue with the supervised institutions to do this and formulates corresponding supervisory expectations. At the same time, FINMA develops the necessary instruments for the appropriate integration of these risks into ongoing supervisory activities and continuously updates them.

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Transparency about climate-related risks

Transparency about climate-related financial risks at supervised institutions is an important step towards the rational identification, measurement and management of these risks. At the end of May 2021, FINMA therefore clarified the disclosure requirements in the area of climate-related financial risks for significant financial institutions and communicated them in disclosure circulars.

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International coordination on sustainability issues

The risks related to climate change to financial institutions and the financial system, as well as investor protection in connection with sustainability topics, are priority issues at the most important international standard-setting bodies in the financial market sector. FINMA welcomes the development of internationally coordinated solutions and is actively involved in this work.

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